Vettel canters home to sixth win of the season in Valencia

Posted on June 26, 2011

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Sebastian Vettel cantered to one of the most straightforward victories of his career in Valencia, claiming his sixth win in eight races this year.

An easy win today for Sebastian Vettel around the dull Valencia circuit. Credit: Red Bull/Getty

The European Grand Prix was always likely to be a let down after the thrills and spills of Canada two weeks ago. But today most of the passing was done in the pit lane with just a handful of competitive overtakes on the road.

The leading drivers were all on identical three stop strategies and, while the leading trio of Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber for a while ran close together, all of the strategy work was today decided on the pitwall. Second and third places were exchanged a couple of times but only through the pit stop undercut.

The McLaren drivers were nowhere to be seen today as both faced tyre management issues for much of the race. The much heralded race pace of the Woking team was nowhere to be seen.

Early on lap six, Jenson Button pulled a great move to pass Nico Rosberg, outbraking him into turn two. But it was a rare highlight in a race where Vettel only surrendered the lead for brief pit stops.

There was not an enormous amount to see down the field. All 24 cars reached the finishing line – possibly the highest ever number of Grand Prix finishers – albeit with the three newest teams up to 5s off the pace at some stages of the race.

Fundamentally, this is not a very interesting racing track. There are next to no overtaking opportunities, even with a huge DRS zone. It’s no surprise  there was limited action and if a circuit needs to be lost from the calendar next year, Valencia should be a prime candidate.

Vettel’s lead at the top of the drivers standings has grown to a vast 77 points. There are still a lot of points to fight for but it’s hard to see where a challenge comes from.

There is a potentially significant rule change coming at Silverstone as hot blowing of diffusers will be banned. Let’s hope for more action there, when Coffee Powered Racing will be blogging trackside!

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Posted in: Formula One, Race